Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms – not just for sharing my blog content, but also as a fun creative outlet and a way to connect with friends and readers. I decided a little while back that I wanted to use Instagram for more than just sharing personal photos, and began focusing on improving my feed and growing my following.
How I’ve Grown My Instagram Following
- Researched I figured the best place to start was to do a little bit of research – see what had worked (and not worked) for others in terms of creating better content, best/worst posting times, ways to network and reach different audiences organically (and not in a spammy way), etc. One thing I read that was super helpful was Dana’s post on Reimagining Your Instagram Profile. She covered a lot of things that I was trying to figure out, and if you’re looking to step up your “Instagram game” then I highly suggest you read it.
- Defined My Style I’ve always admired those Instagram accounts that are beautifully designed, each new photo complimenting the last. I’ve also noticed that accounts like these have a dedicated audience that they’re able to connect with, and that’s something I really wanted for my feed. So, I decided to define my Instagram photo style (which came at a perfect time as I was also redefining the photography style for my blog). I’ve always loved photos that are dreamy, airy, and light, so I started creating content in that style. No more grainy, badly lit photos for this girl! As I began posting more and more photos in a cohesive style, I started noticing that they were receiving more likes + comments, and my follower count was growing.
- Used Relevant Hashtags This was a big one for getting my photos out there and seen by several people. Whenever I post a new photo, I always add a second comment with a chunk of relevant tags. A few I use for most of my photos are #pursuepretty, #midwestbloggers, #fblchat, #instadaily, and #bbloggers, and any other tags that have something to do with the content of my photo (just a side note: Instagram does have a limit of 30 hashtags per photo).
- Posted Regularly I’ve learned over time that, just like with blogging, you need to post somewhat regularly if you expect your audience to grow. People following your feed will want to see new photos every so often, they’ve followed your account because they like your photos, after all. I try to post at least one new photo a day, but usually no more than three. There’s a good balance with posting regularly, and you can go overboard and post too many in one day.
- Shared Quality Content Along with defining my photography style, I also decided to only share photos that I felt were of a higher quality than what I used to share. No more blurry selfies. No more food photos (unless the food is hella cute). No more just snapping a photo of something random because I felt like I needed to post something. Now I only post photos that I’d be proud to share on my blog, as well as quotes that inspire me and other Instagrammers that I like to feature (you can see a whole post of Instagram photo ideas here).
- Shared the love with similar feeds The last thing I’ve been doing is getting out there and spreading the likes and comments to other Instagrammers in my niche. If I find an account that I find absolutely stunning, I always go through and leave a bunch of likes and relevant comments. (Just like with blogging, it’s important to leave an actual comment, like complimenting their photography style or leaving a thought about the subject of the photo. Comments like “Wow!” or “Neato!” probably won’t get them interested in clicking over to your feed. Also, for the love of all things glorious in this world, DO NOT leave a “Follow 4 follow, like 4 like?” comment. Those are the very definition of spam.)
Do you use Instagram as an extension of your blog, or do you use it more for personal use?